Electronics and percussions

Electronics and the Basel Symphony Orchestra Percussionists. A new work with the composer Francesco Paradiso.


Again I’ve been invited to collaborate with the Composer Francesco Maria Paradiso, this time is a piece for percussions and fixed electronic media called “Taran Tam!”
I’ve worked with Francesco creating for him electronic sounds with Max/MSP and the Buchla Synthesizer. The composition will be performed by the Basel Symphony Orchestra Percussionists.

The premiere will be held at the prestigious Dreispitzhalle in Basel (CH)

Das sprengt sämtliche Horizonte: In einem spektakulären Konzerthappening begibt sich ein 14köpfiges Schlagzeugensemble auf eine Passage entlang bedeutender Stationen der neueren Musikgeschichte, unterstützt von handverlesenen Gästen und Live-Elektronik.
Werke von Edgar Varèse, Anthony Pateras, Luigi Nono, Francesco Maria Paradiso, Keitaro Takahashi, Jacopo Baboni Schilingi, Achim Christian Bornhöft, Pietro Luca Congedo, John Cage, Iannis Xenakis und Alex Buess.
Schlagzeuger des Sinfonieorchesters Basel und Gäste
Domenico Melchiorre, Konzeption und künstlerische Leitung

In Zusammenarbeit mit dem Haus für elektronische Künste, dem Elektronischen Studio der Hochschule für Musik Basel und der Christoph Merian Stiftung
FREITAG, 4. MAI 2012
20.00 Uhr – ca. 24.00 Uhr
Türöffnung: 19.00 Uhr
Dreispitzhalle Basel, Helsinki-Strasse 5, Münchenstein

Eintritt: CHF 35 / 20 (Schüler, Studenten, Lehrlinge)
Vorverkauf: Konzertgesellschaft Tickets (im Stadt-Casino) / 061 273 73 73 oder www.ticketcorner.ch www.sinfonieorchesterbasel.ch







– energies collisions transformations- 

Ionisation  – Edgar Varèse (1883-1965)
for twelve percussionists and piano, (1931)

Refractions – Anthony Pateras (*1979)
for percussion sextet, (2009)

 Con Luigi Dallapiccola – Luigi Nono (1924-1990)
for six percussionists and electronics, (1979)

 „Taran Tàm!“ – Francesco Maria Paradiso  (*1960)
for twelve percussionists and digital soundfile, (2012) world premiere

– 30 Minuten Pause –

– in time and space –

Bricolage  – Keitaro Takahashi  (*1986)
for six percussionists and live electronics, (2012) world premiere

Igitur Semper –  Jacopo Baboni Schilingi  (*1971)
for solo trombone, percussiontrio and live electronics, (2011)

 Infrarot – Vision Impossible – Achim Christian Bornhöft  (*1966)
für 4 Schlagzeuger und Stereotonband, (1999)

Clinamen –  Pietro Luca Congedo   (*1977)
for 6 percussionists, mechanical drum, automata, and live electronics, (2012) world premiere

Imaginary Landscape No.5 – John Cage (1912-1992)
for any 42 phonograph records, (1952)

– 30 Minuten Pause –

– out of order I out of border –

Orient Occident – Iannis Xenakis  (1922-2001)
for tape, (1957)

Mind Machine – Alex Buess (*1954)
für Schlagzeugtrio, Tonband und Live-Elektronik, (1990/91) world premiere


Visit M° Francesco Paradiso here

The year of John Cage

Celebrating the Centennial Anniversary

This year the music community celebrates the most prominent figure of experimental music, the maestro of the great opening to all sounds: John Milton Cage Jr.
To join the celebration I will post news and works of mine in honor of the composer through the whole 2012.

In my classes I never stress enough how much the music and the ideas of this genial American composer have influenced the contemporary concept of music. Uncertainty, poetry, interaction, anarchism, curiosity. The great lesson of John Cage lies in using of every sound without sacrificing the intellect and the love for music or art.

Cage’s music is not an act of nihilism, it’s a profound act of love and intelligence, and as Umberto Eco wrote, it is one of the true rare examples of Zen Art in the western culture.

Whenever I take a walk to my girlfriend’s place, I can’t avoid thinking to John walking in the very same streets in November 1958 when he was invited by the RAI electronic music studio of Milan (Studio di Fonologia Musicale della Radiotelevisione Italiana) to compose what it become Fontana Mix, with the assistance of the skilful RAI engineer Marino Zuccheri. The studio was then located in the RAI building in Corso Sempione street, an architectural opus by Giò Ponti. Today the custom made electronic equipment of the RAI studio is exposed at the Museum of Musical Instruments of Sforza Castle in downtown Milan. The exposition includes also a precious manuscript by John Cage that portraits a scheme of the RAI equipment. He made that sketch before starting off with scissors and scotch tape (and talcum powder!). I will take a visit at the museum and catch some pics for you soon.

If you haven’t done it yet I would like to invite you to visit the John Cage Trust official page curated by the excellent Laura Kuhn, and the best-place-on-the-web ubuweb curated by Kenneth Goldsmith, both websites are rich of Cagean contents and a worth a long list of visits.

Hommage à John Cage

To conclude, a few weeks ago I’ve decided to inaugurate the spring with a 38 minutes long soundscape composition dedicated to John  and called JOHN 1/179/20″. The work is a selection of field recordings that I have taken in the last 3 years spanning from the French Switzerland hills to the tropical forests and chenotes of Yucatan in Mexico, trough Northern Italy lakes and airports, the temple of Asakusa and the Ikiabara district in Tokyo, a steel foundry in Reggio Emilia and the streets of Milan under a night rain.

The composition represents an ideal voyage trough the world. The message of John Cage is universal: sounds are life. The title refers to the first book of John Cage, Silence, page 179, 20th second.

JOHN 1/179/20″ has been accepted by the Ear To The Earth (EMF) John Cage Centenary Anniversary call for works (100 x John) and it will be hosted on their website soon. I would like to thank my friend and colleague Giuseppe Cordaro with which I’ve taken some of these wonderful sounds.

You can listen to the piece here and download it from the sounds page


Four Minutes for Filtered White Noise and Shortwave Radio

A shortwave radio scans through North-African, Chinese, Russian, French, English and German channels, the output is then forwarded to the Buchla.

Inside the synthesizer a white noise is processed with three narrow bandwidth band pass filters connected in serial configuration so to obtain quasi-sinusoids sounds. Both the sources are further transformed by a balanced modulator, a frequency shifter and the four Low Pass Gate (Vactrol Amplifiers/Filters); the whole sound system is stochastically controlled by the Source of Uncertainty 266e module.




James Joyce and Electronic Music

Unexpected Word Space: the theater of sound


My latest work was a collaboration with the Italian composer Francesco Paradiso. Together with Massimo Marchi at AGON and the actress Adele Pellegatta, we have created a very singular performance of words and sounds based on a Finnegans Wake extract.

Of course there is a link between this work and that of Berio/Eco in the famous Thema, Omaggio a Joyce. We’ve honored it creating an 1950s electronica soundscape that well represented the paradigm of the RAI Studio era, but we headed on a different use of language. We didn’t chopped words, we used them taking care of their semantic value.

Adele Pellegatta read a chapter of Finnegans, while a 9 channels PA system is filled with delays and live electronics constantly moving in space and interacting with the voice. As a matter of fact each electronic event is controlled by the voice. The text itself is music, it has a vast number of onomatopeic sounds trough all the lyrics. Located across a river with an incredible number of words (or segments of words) that refer to rivers’ names, it is very clear that Finnegans Wake has an aquatic soundscape. For this reason the synthesis section and the delays were all imagined as “pictures” of water, or allegories to better say.

Adele PellegattaThe performance was premiered at the San Fedele Auditorium of Feb 27th, 2012






Unexpected Word Space by Francesco Paradiso
Excerpt from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake


Concept and direction by Francesco Paradiso
Voice: Adele Pellegatta
Programming, sound design, live electronics: Giorgio Sancristoforo
Sound direction: Massimo Marchi
An AGON production

Francesco Paradiso (left) Massimo Marchi (right)
The custom software for the performance



Begin again

A brand new website and domain

BuchlaSome of you know it, I like to change. Just like starting a new patch on a synthesizer.
My website gleetchplug.com had been restyled often during the last six years, at least two times a year. The fact is I am never satisfied with my web skills and after a few months I feel that my website already looks old and dusty, but one of my most persistent complaints was the lack of ease of update and multimedia features that the web-life of today requires. I’m not an hardcore blogger, but I like to keep my listeners, users and friends updated as much as I can, so I slowly came to the idea of a WordPress based solution to enhance navigation, graphics, updating method and arrange more logically my contents.

Changing domain is another huge step, somehow risky.
During the last two years I’ve experienced a certain unease in using a domain name that less and less represent my artistic career. At the time of the birth of gleetchplug I was only thinking at having a web-space to let the people to download my softwares. The domain name was strange and hard to spell by phone (my name is no less, but at least is my name) and eventually it turned to be a potential problem from when my artistic career started to be more and more present in the website and in media. Finally it has my name. I know it’s long and forgettable, but this is what I am, and I’ve promised to myself not to use aliases again to look more international (a perverse but not entirely blameworthy attitude, Italians tend to hate being Italians, today).

So here we are, I must say that I love the way WordPress works, it’s easy and super fast, and finally gives me that kind of interactivity and ease I was looking for.
I’m not a Facebook fan, I have a small Fb page for the disco experience project which I use rarely for important updates, but honestly I feel unconfortable in Fb as well as g+ and other social media, so if you want to interact with me this site is the best way to do it and I will update it often.

To keep up to date, subscribe to the newsletter.

At the top right side of this page you can find a subscription form. If you want to receive my monthly newsletter please subscribe. Only one mail per month, I promise :)

An important note about emails and the older domain:
Changing the domain meant changing email addresses. To contact me about my softwares please use softwares (at) giorgiosancristoforo [d0t] net from now on.
For booking or other general inquiries please use the form in the contacts page. Other than this, feel free to post comments and thoughts in the comments sections of the site, your feedback is of course appreciated and valuable. The old domain will remain online with a URL redirect for six to eight months.

Thank you for being here, I hope you will enjoy the change and the new adventure.


Buchla Concerts and Modular Synth Fair


Source of Uncertainty celebrates the Buchla 200e and DIY modular synthesis. 

Centering around two free New York City concerts, on June 28th and July 7th, the series is a collaborative initiative of New York-based curatorial organizations, Harvestworks and ((audience)), and takes place as part of the River to River festival.  The first event will feature a modular synth fair and we will be interviewing Buchla musicians for a program on Art on Air.  See bios, exhibitors, links below.

Thurs June 28th // South Street Seaport // 210 Front Street NYC
Control Voltage Faire 3-8pm
Buchla Recital ft Alessandro Cortini, Carlos Giffoni, Mark Verbos 8-10
Late concert ft Xeno & Oaklander and Loud Objects


Sat July 7 // Schimmel Arts Center // 3 Spruce Street NYC
Richard Lainhart tape piece
Morton Subotnick premiers “Energy Shapes”



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Sound Artist